Will Reducing the size of goalie equipment really make the game of hockey "better"
The last several years, a big debate in the NHL has been whether to reduce the size of goalie equipment or not. The NHL describes it is as a lack of scoring, but the way I see it is that it is a result of goalies getting improving every year. With the amount of different training methods goalies have access to ie. visual training, mental training, explosion training, yoga, video etc its no surprise we are improving every season. If the NHL decides to change the size of the gear, I don’t think it would have an affect. besides, they have tried this once already the In 2010-11 season. They instatuted the rule that a goalies pads couldn’t go higher than 55% of the distance between centre of the knee and the pelvis. They again changed the rule in 2013-14 season where that 55% dropped to 45% and a maximum height of no more than 9 inches above their knee . As the NHL changed the size of goalie equipment, we adapted, and prevailed. From 2010-11 season the goals against average in the NHL was 2.61, even with all the changes in equipment, the GAA has gone down to 2.47 in this years season so far . The GAA has gone down every year except one season in 2013-14 since reducing the size of the equipment. Interesting enough and a better reflection of a goalies individual success is save percentage, which has increased every single year from .913 in 2010-11 to .916 so far this season. We have technically adapted to smaller equipment and athletically it allows us to move faster.
The biggest question is; If the equipment size is again reduced, will there still be enough padding and protection so that goalies don’t get hurt? Pictured below is Jean Sebastian Gigueure from the Colorado Avalanche in the 2013-2014 season when the NHL reduced the length of goalie equipment. There is a lot of knee showing . Here is some food for thought. I know there are actualy some defencemans shin pads currently in the NHL, that measure slightly over 10" across. Pads are now 11" with rumblings of reducing it further.